Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Three children explore the flowerbeds on either side of the path they are walking on
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Cambridge University Botanic Garden was established on its 40 acre site less than 1 mile from the City centre by Professor John Stevens Henslow and opened in 1846. Since its opening in 1846, Cambridge University Botanic Garden has been an inspiration for gardeners, an exciting introduction to the natural world for families and a refreshing oasis for all our visitors.

Henslow, who is perhaps now best remembered for inspiring his pupil Charles Darwin with a love of natural science, recognised the need to study plants in their own right. The plant collection today numbers over 8000 species including nine National Collections and the best arboretum in the region.

This heritage-listed Garden has been designed for both year-round interest and seasonal inspiration so, whenever you visit, you will find plants to intrigue and enchant. Today the Garden welcomes around 225,000 visitors each year.

Venue Type:

Heritage site, Garden, parklands or rural site

Opening hours

10 am - 6 pm April to September
10 am - 5 pm February, March and October
10 am - 4 pm November to January
(The Glasshouses close 1/2 hour before the Garden closing time)

Admission charges

£4.50 (£4.95 gift aid) for adults 17 - 60.
£3.95 (£4.35 gift aid) for adults over 60 and students in possession of a recognised student card.
Children under 16 are admitted free. (Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times).
Companions for disabled visitors are admitted free.

Admission is free at all times for Friends of Cambridge University Botanic Garden carrying a valid Friends’ Membership Card, and Cambridge University students on production of a valid University Card.

With a framework of mature trees and shrubs, this paradise of plants comprises diverse, superbly landscaped settings including: the Rock Garden, representing the alpine plants from the mountains of every continent; the Lake and Water Garden, teeming with bird life; tropical rainforest, the alpine house and seasonal displays in the Glasshouses; and the historic Systematic Beds, displaying 1600 hardy representatives of more than 80 families of flowering plants.

The Garden also boasts many important plant collections including lavenders, hardy geraniums, British native plants displayed on the Ecological Mound, and the finest collection of trees in the East of England.

The Garden looks wonderful all through the year. After discovering the remarkable use of berry, bark and foliage in the beautiful Winter Garden, you can warm up in the Glasshouses and travel from the tropics to the desert in search of cacti, carnivorous plants, orchids and the extraordinary Jade Vine, in glorious flower in March.

The Herbaceous Borders, Scented Garden and Dry Garden are colourful highlights of summer, but don't miss the jewelled carpet of spring bulbs and early alpines in the Woodland Garden and Rock Garden or the foliage fireworks of the Autumn Colour Garden. The Genetics Garden has been newly-planted to demonstrate how genetic variation gives rise to the plant diversity all around you.

Collection details

Natural Sciences

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

First Saturday Family Fun

Take part in the Botanic Garden's creative family-friendly workshops on the first Saturday of every month.

How to obtain

For more details, email

Cambridge University Botanic Garden
1 Brookside




Education Office



01223 336265

Education Office

01223 748451


01223 336278

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.